Sunday, 8 July 2012

Adolescence

I am the sort of mother who wishes her children's lives away. When they were helpless newborns I longed for the day when they crawled. When they crawled I longed for the day when they walked. When they walked I was impatient for speech, when speech arrived in a volley of vacuous questions, I counted the years until intelligent conversation and when intelligent conversation budded, I looked forward to the liberty of school days.

Now my oldest is nine and I want time to stop. I dread the transformation of adolescence as vigorously as she plans for it. I have no map to chart me through these turbulent years, for I was not a normal teenager. Doris Day was my pin up, tree-climbing my hobby and hand-me downs from the church warden my preferred daywear.

My 9-year-old, however, declares that she will marry a Chelsea footballer who embraces tattoos, body piercings and a daily night out down the pub. She studies her face in anxious anticipation of spots that will indicate the onset of puberty 'because then I get to be moody'.

She asks anxiously if ladies are allowed to swear. She begs trips to Hollister so she can ready her wardrobe for her teens. And she is experimenting with a gentle rebellion against all things are not cool (God, Clark's shoes, Classic FM, homemade fairy cakes, correct consonants, my waterproof coat, Skodas) and evangelising about all things that are (Juicy Couture, Barratts's shoes, Jesse J, cheese strings, silver people carriers, white leather sofa suites and Blue-nosed Bears).

Instinct warns me not to protest too vociferously, but she notes my trepidation and, pitying, hastens to set my mind at rest. 'I will have to swear when I'm a teenager,' she warns me kindly, 'but I won't smash windows.'

27 comments:

  1. Bugger. Not a chance I'm going to get any sleep tonight, thanks. And mine's not even a year old yet... ;)
    Ah well, good to hear your neighbours windows are safe. Hopefully I'll be as lucky in a few years time.

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    1. Relax! You've got far more to worry about than teens ..terrible twos, for instance...

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  2. I'm glad I don't have to worry about this for a few years yet. Good luck traversing those adolescent years, I'm sure you'll manage to navigate those turbulent waters

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    Replies
    1. I'm not so sure. Hopefully by then we'll have moved somewhere where riots aren't a summer diversion for the local youth.

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  3. I also eagerly await the next stage even while enjoying the one we're in. Swearing is cheaper than replacing broken windows so i guess you'll get off lightly.

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    Replies
    1. Suppose you're right. And most of the curses she'll have learned from me on when negotiating the local bypass.

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  4. Do they still have "Nappy Nights" at the local nightclubs? Not to worry you or give you something else to dread, but... yeah, just forget I mentioned it. Totally nothing to worry about I'm sure.

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    1. What are nappy nights? Toddler raves? Thing she'd rather have Stiletto Soirees.

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  5. God help you....

    I used to get drunk at nappy nights

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    1. I don't know what nappy nights are. But may He also help you, thrice over!

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  6. When she enters her teens, if you are like me, you will wish for the diaper stage once again, it is far easier believe me!

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    1. Ooh no! About to start adolescence with the step-daughter. She's just discovered 'boys'!

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    2. I know I will. It's just beginning to dawn on me.

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  7. Seriously though, having just attended the lovely wedding of my 'just 24 year old', I feel overwhelmed at how swiftly time has passed. I watched with pride a slide-show of the happy couple; a montage of pictures from birth to the present day, including all the big milestones, with a giant lump in my throat, and a lake of tears in my eyes.

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    Replies
    1. I like the idea of mine being 24. It's the intervening teens that frighten me.

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  8. Oh thank the lord it is not just me and GG! She's only 7 but she already despises Clarks and no longer wants to borrow my jewellery. But fairy cakes??? Seriously, I had no idea home-made cakes weren't cool!

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    Replies
    1. They're not cool when everyone else at school has packets of Mr Kipling.

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  9. I'm sure life moved slower in the '70's and 80's - I dont rememeber being bothered about fashion and makeup until at least 13 years old. How times have changed!

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    1. I wasn't bothered about fashion until I was 35 and am still awaiting the passion for make up to ignite in me. Am baffled by modern Youth!

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  10. More and more posts make me grateful for two boys!

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    1. The boys at our primary school are more into their looks and labels than the girls. They even show off the waistbands of their Ralph Lauren underpants.

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  11. Teenage boys grunt and shrug, but that's not much help for you. I'm told it's very different with girls.

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  12. So much to look forward to!! I have teenage boys but I have a feeling that my 9 year old daughter will be a whole other story!!

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    Replies
    1. At least you can leave her with her older brothers while you go out on the razz.

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  13. Oh my. I cringe when I remember my teenage self. I swore like Gordon Ramsey, on public transport, loudly. I thought I was so grown up. Dreadful. Suerte mi amiga.

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    ReplyDelete